Licensing for the Queen’s StuCons (QSC) service is underway, with differing accounts on whether the process is on track.
As a student security service, the Ontario government requires QSC to hold a security license to operate. The licensing renewal is standard, but follows a turbulent year for the StuCon service, including rolling hiring and a fee decrease.
“The QSC application has been proceeding through the queue as normal and we anticipate no reason for QSC to not receive the license,” Caroline Jarrett, QSC head manager, said in a statement to The Journal.
“We are waiting patiently as we understand from an Ontario Government representative that review times have been slower than usual.”
A spokesperson for the Ontario Ministry of the Solicitor General said the Ministry has not received QSC’s final application.
“StuCons has applied for an agency licence, but the Ministry has been unable to process it due to numerous deficiencies requiring correction or clarification,” Spokesperson Brent Ross said in a statement to The Journal.
QSC—previously known as Queen’s Student Constables—is a peer-to-peer security service for Queen’s student events. At events, StuCons usual tasks include checking students’ identification, monitoring students’ intoxication levels, and providing appropriate crowd control.
In addition to QSC’s licensing, individual security personnel must also be licensed by the province. Currently, approximately half of the students employed by QSC are not fully licensed.
To address understaffing, the AMS is accepting applications for QSC staff on a rolling basis.
“The QSC has doubled their staff since Sept. 2022, with a total of 28 staff, 16 of which are fully licensed with the remaining 12 staff to be fully licensed by mid April,” Jarrett said.
“The QSC service staff all hold Smart-Serve and First-Aid trainings in addition to their Security Licenses.”
The AMS did not respond to The Journal’s request for dates after follow-up emails and requests for clarity on when the application was filed.
“License renewal is a routine operation within all security services and has no impact on service credibility,” Tina Hu, AMS vice-president (operations), said in a statement to The Journal.
According to Engineering Society (EngSoc) President Danielle Rivard, it’s been challenging to work with QSC over the past school year.
Rivard reported frustrations over the communication process to ensure QSC was present at EngSoc events.
“Most of the problems stemmed from understaffing,” Rivard said. “They had 18 StuCons at the beginning of the year. They [were] compensated with external security.”
Rivard said EngSoc lobbied the AMS to provide students with incentives to become StuCons, such as increased wages or additional benefits.
StuCons are the highest paid service staff at the AMS, in part due to requirements around licensing and staff’s operations in a higher risk environment compared to other services.
StuCon service staff are paid $16.55 per hour and supervisors are paid $19.05 per hour. The service’s rate of pay will be adjusted to account for the increase in Ontario minimum wage in the coming year.
Rivard brought her QSC concerns to AMS Assembly on April 6 as an opportunity to discuss solutions to alleged problems involving QSC.
Echoing Rivard’s communication concerns was incoming Health Science President Roan Haggerty-Goede, who reported a discrepancy in how much the faculty was charged for an event by QSC from what they were quoted.
At Assembly, Haggerty-Goede said the event sanctioning forms led organizers to believe they would be charged $7 per StuCon when it cost $17 per StuCon.
“The discrepancy has a downstream effect of people not wanting to purchase tickets to the event because it’s more expensive,” Haggerty-Goede said.
In response, Hu highlighted event sanctioning forms for the winter semester were changed so forms for events involving alcohol were sent directly to QSC Head Manager Jarrett.
Jarrett will extend her QSC leadership position for another term—an exception to AMS policy made specifically for the QSC service.
“[Jarrett] was unable to fulfill a full term due to being onboarded in September,” Hu said at Assembly. “The constable service has been in a precarious position all year […] so continuing [Jarett]’s leadership is important.”
According to Hu, the AMS has decided to reduce the QSC activity fee by $2 for the 2023-24 school year.
Speaking from his experience working as a StuCon, Callum Fraser, ArtSci ’23 told Assembly, “I can’t say my experience has been that great.”
The roles StuCons are required to fulfill differ across events, creating confusion for students on the job. Fraser said it’s important for StuCons to know what specific activities event organizers are requesting and relevant security information, such as the number of entrances and exits to the venue.
Fraser suggested event sanctioning forms should include more information on an event’s security needs.
Incoming AMS executive team KMV re-stated their commitment to improving the StuCon service in the upcoming school year—they said they’re happy Jarrett is remaining in her position as head manager.
A previous version of this article indicated that the StuCon fee was being reduced by $10 rather than the actual $2 reduction.
The Journal regrets the error
AMS, QSC, security, StuCons, Vice President (Operations)
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